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History of Tanzania

The earliest known human habitation of the region now part of Tanzania is traced back two million years and proven by the fossils found by the Leakeys in the Olduvai Gorge on the Serengeti plain. In later years, the coastal region and the islands developed into a trade centres starting the migration of merchant communities from as far east as India and China. The European merchant sailors found their way here by the early 1400s and set up shop after sacking and subjugating the ruling dynasty; the Portuguese were expelled from the area in 1698 by an Afro-Arab combined army. The Omani dynasty of the Bu Said replaced the region's Yarubi leaders in 1741. It was during this period that Zanzibar gained its legendary status as a center for the ivory and slave trade, becoming in 1841 the capital city of the Sultan of Oman.

The hinterland areas saw the large-scale migration of tribes like the Masai from neighbouring Kenya. By the 19th century, Britain and Germany had sent in explorers and traders and like most of Africa, Tanzania became a pawn in the game between the European colonial powers. The Germans dominated the region from 1886 till the end of the World War I when Tanzania was handed over to the British by the League of Nations. Present day Tanzania is the result of a merger between the mainland Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar in 1964, after both territories gained independence. The principal nationalist party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), emerged as the dominant political force and its charismatic leader, Julius Nyerere held the post of President from 1964 to 1985. Modern Tanzania is a substantial power in African politics and plays an active role in regional politics even supporting anti-colonial guerrilla movements in southern Africa and offering military protection to many regimes.

Brrr... it’s cold and damp and you need to escape the winter chill. Dreaming of a beach to feel the ...
Vidastu, our driver had a long scar on his cheek signifying that he belonged to a particular tribe. In his ...

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